Banditry: 807 members killed in Kaduna — ECWA Church
The Chairman of ECWA Kasuwan Magani District Church Council, Rev. Timothy Maigida has disclosed that no fewer than 807 of his members were killed by bandits and communal crisis in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State in the last six years.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday December 8, Rev. Maigida also said over 70 of the Church members are still languishing in bandits’ den. He also revealed that the church is planning to hold what he termed a “sober reflection” service in commemoration of the departed souls and those in captivity. He then called on the state government as well as security agencies to beef up security so as to halt the insecurity in the area.
He said, “In 2016 when the terrorism and kidnapping for ransom started, 38 people were abducted in all. Eight of the victims were killed, and the remaining were released after the payment of ransom. “In 2017, the number of people killed was 35. “In 2018, a crisis erupted in Kasuwan Magani market on October 18. That single incident claimed the lives of 286 identified locals that went to the market that day. That was apart from those from outside the local government that were not identified. The following day, October 19, the late Agom Adara, HRH (Dr.) Maiwada Raphael Galadima was ambushed, abducted and later murdered.
“In 2019, we lost our church members to armed bandits. Let me skip and bring you to the current year 2022. We have suffered and still suffering both the kidnapping and killing of our people monthly. “It is disheartening to hear that Dogon Noma Community, which was attacked on June 5, 2022, killing 29 people and abducting 28, was attacked again on December 7, 2022, with five people abducted, Rev. Isa Kabiru inclusive. Many valuables were also looted.
“It is in view of all these devastations that we as a church and people have endured, that we have decided to hold a sober reflection service and bring in people within and outside Kaduna that would help us to rebuild our homes, churches and communities.” The cleric added, “Though God Almighty is our chief security, I however call on the security agencies to be more proactive. They need to increase their presence in rural areas.
“They need to increase their response time and increase their ability to go after the attackers whenever they are sighted, or after attacking a community. “We also call on the government to pay attention to the welfare of the thousands of displaced people that we have around us.
Gridlock as protesting truck drivers block Onitsha bridge
Protesting truck drivers on Friday blocked the River Niger Bridgehead in Onitsha, Anambra State. The drivers said they were protesting against the state government tax imposition on trailers, lorries, truck,s and other vehicles bringing goods into Anambra. The protest which started in the early hours of Friday led to a total lockdown of the bridge as well as the Enugu-Onitsha, Onitsha- Owerri expressway and all the roads that lead into and exit Anambra through Onitsha.
The situation rendered commuters stranded and forced some people to come down from their vehicles and started trekking. While stating the reason for their action, the drivers lamented that the state government had imposed a levy of N30,000 for trailers loading and offloading goods in the state, while other vehicles have their own amount ranging from N20,000 to N25,000.
A driver, identified as Odion Omoroge, who spoke on behalf of the aggrieved members, expressed surprise about the levy, describing the action by the government “as the worst the people of the state will see.” He said, “Violence about the collection of money by the government revenue collectors is being witnessed daily in Anambra state, particularly in Onitsha. Violence is more pronounced now than ever before, yet the same government said it does not want touts, yet touts are having a field day on the roads on a daily basis.”
Although, the police were on the ground preventing a breakdown of law and order, but the aggrieved drivers were undaunted even as commuters battled to pass through the roads. The Anambra Police Command’s spokesman, Tochukwu Ikenga, could not be reached as calls and messages to his telephone line were not responded to